Getting to know Essex’s professional Santa
Getting to know Essex’s professional Santa
The day after Thanksgiving typically marks the beginning of the holiday season, but professional Santa Brian K. Marchetti, who appears at more than 100 events each season, has been prepping for months.
“Beginning in August, I get inundated with calls, text messages and emails with requests for work. Everyone wants a Saturday in December, and that’s just not possible. I already have much of 2019 booked,” said Marchetti, who now books three others Santas as well to fill in the gaps for customers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia.
Marchetti, who was born and raised in Middle River and moved to Essex as an adult, makes the ideal Santa he’s got the perfect build, blue eyes that twinkle and a full head of hair and real beard. This year he had two new suits custom made, having purchased the fabric in Florida and the fur in Virginia after a trip to New York’s garment district didn’t meet his expectations.
“Ever ything I wear for Santa has to be of the finest quality. You’ll find nothing store bought for my Santa costume,” he said. And the reality is, he always carries two suits with him, in case any of Santa’s visitors has an accident.
In the beginning, Marchetti stopped shaving his beard in the months leading up to Christmas, but now in his seventh year, he keeps the beard year
round. Depending on the methods and products used, it can take him between one and seven rounds of bleach get his hair and beard snowy white, and he must go back for frequent touch-ups throughout the season.
But playing Santa is not just about looks. A Santa for Hire needs to have the right personality to do the job as well.
“Anyone can go to Party City and buy a Santa suit, but not everyone can be Santa. It takes a level of professionalism and personality and the desire to be the best that you can be,” said Marchetti, who is a graduate of Schools 4 Santa and a member of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas.
Marchetti was first cast as Santa in his school play at Glenmar Elementary, and he revised the role in December 1983 during his senior year at Kenwood High School when he was asked by the principal to visit the kids in the school’s day care center. Little did he know that several decades later he would don a Santa suit again and make it a career.
His appearances include private home visits, corporate parties, Santa breakfasts and other meet and greet events. Marchetti says he customizes each and every event to give the audience a most memorable experience. Unlike most Santas, he has a crew of Elves and even a Mrs. Claus who are available for appearances with him.
Marchetti also is sure to make time in his holiday schedule to visit the Ronald McDonald House and work with other charity events such as The Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital fundraiser with Joe Flacco — the perfect place to sport his purple suit, which he also wears to Ravens games in December. He is also the sole Santa on Christmas morning for the Eastern Family Resource Center shelter, where he delivers gifts courtesy of Sean Marsh, owner of Everglaze.
One of his favorite events each year is the tree lighting at the Patuxent River Naval Base, where he gets to interact with militar y families. But he also loves local events, because he knows many of the children who have been coming to see him throughout the years, and he enjoys seeing them grow up.
“I am very much about giving back to the community,” said Marchetti. “When I play Santa, it’s all about giving my time to make someone’s holiday memorable.”
Locally, Marchetti is booked to play Santa this Saturday at The Crazy Tuna to celebrate the Middle River Lighted Boat Parade, one of the largest in the country. He will also have appearances at Chick-Fil-a Martin Plaza, Sweet Frog in Perry Hall, and Bill Bateman’s in Rosedale.
New this year, he has been hired by the Broadway show Anastasia to appear at a pancake breakfast at the Hippodrome. He will also make another appearance on WJZ Channel 13.
When he’s not playing Santa, Marchetti is the owner of Cars 4 Sale on North Point Blvd. in Dundalk, and part owner of the Baltimore Shuckers minor league basketball team. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Essex Day Festival and the Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River.
For more information about Santa for Hire Brian K. Marchetti, please go to https://www.facebook. com/santaforhiremd/.